Chris has over 23 years of experience teaching poetry and mentoring youth and young adults within and around the Los Angeles County educational and juvenile justice systems. He has served as a consultant and retreat facilitator for a wide range of companies and organizations including Snap Inc. and the Anti-Recidivism Coalition, for which he leads homecoming retreats for formerly incarcerated adults. Chris also has served as a keynote speaker and conference panelist exploring youth rites of passage, arts-based violence intervention strategies, creative community building, the healing arts and alternatives to incarceration. Originally from Boston, Chris is a graduate of Duke University (B.A. English) and the American Film Institute (M.F.A. Screenwriting). He worked as an arts journalist in New York City and later as a screenwriter in Hollywood before a volunteer teaching stint in a Los Angeles County juvenile detention camp in 1995 inspired him to create Street Poets. He currently sits on the board of the Arts for Incarcerated Youth Network and Wolf Connection, a wolf-dog sanctuary and educational retreat center one hour from downtown L.A.